Saturday, September 26, 2020

Quick visit to Roger's Gardens, Orange County's premier destination nursery

I just got back from a quick trip to Southern California to drop daughter #2 off at college (again). Traffic through the Los Angeles area was busier than at the end of March when we picked her up—and shelter-in-place ordinances had just gone into effect—but not as bad a pre-COVID days.

I did manage to carve out time for a few plant-related outings. The first one was to Roger's Gardens in Corona del Mar (essentially Newport Beach). Roger's Gardens has a storied history. From the beginning, it's been more than just a business selling plants. Today, its motto is “Discover, Experience, Connect,“ and its inventory is as heavy on home decor as it is on plants. A well-loved restaurant focusing on locally sourced foods and seasonal boutiques round out the offerings that make Roger's Gardens a destination for shoppers from Orange and neighboring counties.

Newport Beach is one of the wealthiest communities in California (their striking Civic Center is a succulent wonderland), and Roger's Gardens is clearly targeting the well-heeled local clientele. As they say, if you have to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it. I'm only half joking.

Having said that, here are some grab shots from my quick visit to Roger's Gardens last Tuesday afternoon:

All garbage cans should look like this! Of course, there's no telling how long they would remain this pristine out in public.

Succulents planted in galvanized steel containers seem to be en vogue at the moment:





Out of all the containers, I liked these the best

I was happy to see some sculptures by Southern California ceramic artist Dustin Gimble:


In addition, a selection of his planters were for sale:



You can also buy Dustin's pieces in his online store.

Speaking of pots, I'd never seen terra cotta cylinders like these before:


If they'd been a little cheaper, I would have bought a few.

Pots in all shapes and sizes are strategically paired with plants throughout the nursery:




A nice touch, selling pre-potted plants:


Lots of larger succulents:


Special ×Mangave display:


The largest Portulacaria afra I've ever seen in a nursery:


Pricey Dudleya brittonii:


A table full of plumerias, definitely not something we'd see in Northern California:


Sansevierias continue to be popular:


Not exactly a rarity, but I have a soft spot for Abyssinian bananas (Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii'), especially large specimens:


The landscaping inside the nursery is as nice as you'd expect:




I love the use of Acacia cognata 'Cousin Itt' and Casuarina glauca 'Cousin It' (note the difference in spelling) as groundcovers in this installation. Another Dustin Gimble piece on the left.

More plants and pots:



And a random metal agave:


Not sure about succulents in rain chains:


Even in balmy Corona del Mar it must be hard to keep them alive.

Notice the sign in the next photo—birds nesting in a Euphorbia trigona!


Vertical gardening in various incarnations seems to be a focus at Roger's Gardens, with succulents featuring prominently:


My first thought, always: How long do they last? Answer: I don't have the faintest idea, but maybe longer than you think? Or maybe not.

The wall in the next photo is the most ambitious vertical installation I've seen in a while:


The plants seemed quite healthy:


Throughout the nursery, there were colorful reminders that fall is upon us: 


Am I the only one who thinks that any pumpkin that costs more that $5 is expensive?


I was hoping there wouldn't be a Christmas tree, but there was. Well, a Halloween tree, technically:


Roger's Gardens' Halloween Boutique is now open (not my kind of thing so I happily skipped it), and their Christmas Boutique opens on October 9. 

I'm primarily interested in plants, so Roger's Gardens isn't exactly my kind of store. Having said that, I do enjoy visiting whenever I'm in the area. I even bought a few things: a six-pack of variegated nasturtiums and a 4" Dudleya hybrid. And I only spent $11. 


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7 comments:

  1. I go to Roger's whenever I'm looking for something a little different than the usual garden center stock I find closer to home. That usually means trips 5-6 times a year ;) I was last there in late January and I've missed the opportunity to scout the plant shelves so thanks for giving me a virtual overview. I've been disappointed over the years to see the strong shift to gift and home decor items. That was always there but it gained a larger presence in recent years; however, when you have a nursery sitting on some of the priciest real estate in SoCal, you have to be realistic about what the business needs to do to remain in operation. Rogers has made a more obvious effort than other garden centers to respond to the local public's pandemic needs by offering fresh fruit and veg packages - and for putting more mini-presentations online to replace their former Saturday morning talks - and for that they deserve kudos.

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  2. Haven't been for so long. Around Christmas all they have is Christmas trees, cut ($500+) and plastic ($800+) and Christmas decorations.

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  3. My only visit to Roger's Gardens was at Christmas time and there were 12,000 people queueing up to get their Santa photos. It made finding parking nearly impossible! I looked around, marveled at the large specimen plants and that was that. Thanks for the virtual visit!

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  4. I couldn't afford anything there for sure, but i love seeing it so thank you so much. I can always say to myself that most of those plants won't survive in Phoenix for long anyway. Then I feel better! Also those galvanized steel pots would be a torture chamber here!!!

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  5. Roger's looks like a nursery I could spend a lot of time wandering through. Love the first pic of the garbage lid with the medusa euphorbia. They do this at Butchart Gardens too to great effect. I would have been tempted to bring home some of those very cool ribbed pumpkins.

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  6. What a gorgeous nursery! Many beautiful things to be inspired by despite the hefty price, like the vertical planting ideas, including then rain chain: it may not be practical, but it does look fun. The most endearing: the birds nesting in the potted Euphorbia. Amazing.

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  7. This post has me wanting to make the trip south, esp the mangave display. I've been seeing gallon offerings of mangave lately -- much more affordable than the bigger sizes that were the usual for so long. And I love those cylinder clay pots too!

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